Never Give Up!

Well, it's been really busy here in the soft plastic bait business! A lot has gone on since my last entry. First off, I got a chance to pre-fish with my good friend at WFN, Jacob Watters, on Georgian Bay for the CBAF bass club we are members in. It was a joint event with other chapters - a total of 42 boats were signed up. Practice went well, as Jacob was first on the board with a nice 3.5 lb smallmouth he caught on a jerkbait. After seeing several nice fish in a couple of different areas, we prepared for the next day. I drew Mark McKeown from the Simcoe club. The funny thing is, I drew mark at another joint event a few years back , which was a great time - we caught lots of fish, shared a few laughs, and even got into the top 5. So I was really pumped. As it turned out, I had an electrical problem and was unable to re-start my engine after getting to our 1st spot. We were relegated to fishing in the wind with only the trolling motor. We still caught some nice smallies and placed 12th - not bad since we couldn't reach our other 2 key areas. I'm looking forward to next year!

Clubs are a great way to get into bass fishing. There are 2 main clubs in Ontario; the OBF which is affiliated with US based BASS, and the CBAF which is affiliated with the US based FLW. The great thing is, you don't even need a boat. You get partnered up with some great guys and solid anglers. The learned curve is unbelievable!

This past weekend I was asked to fish the CSFL Fall Challenge on Lake Couchiching with my good friend, and Strike-Zone pro-staffer, Pete Bartonek. I was happy to do it since we have talked about partnering up for a while now. This is a 2-day event and competitors are allowed to fish Lake Couchiching only. I really enjoy 2-day events because consistency pays off. Day 1 was off to a good start with 2 solid 4lb smallies caught on smoke-colored Slammers. We fished hard the rest of the day and brought 16.20lbs to the Orillia scales.

Day 2 was a little different. We blasted off in 6th position as was our standing after day 1. Sunday was cloudy and calm, with no smallmouth visible on our big fish spot. Although we did manage to catch a 4lb largemouth, the trouble was we only had 2 very small fish to go with him! With only 11lbs at 12 noon, we had our work cut out for us! We managed another 4lb smallie off an area we found in practice, and padded our weight along the way with bigger keepers. With only an hour left, we have about 15lbs - good for a cheque but not good enough for a chance to win. Going over several rock piles and deep weed lines we decided to go back to area we visited earlier with 20 minutes to go. Pete made a few casts and set the hook on a solid fish, only to watch the line go slack after a couple of seconds! With 5 minutes of time left we kept at it Pete and I caught 2 small fish that we couldn't use. The lost fished weighed heavy in our minds! In the corner of my eye I saw a small indent in the break line we were fishing and made a hail Mary cast. I felt the unmistakable weight of a fish and set the hook hard. I knew it was a good one. Pete netted it, and sure enough it was a 4lb smallmouth! With just enough time to strap-down our rods and release our smallest fish, we raced back and made the weigh-in in regulation time with a 17.15 bag. It was good for a 3rd place finish - not bad for the last cast!

Until next time - and remember - never give up!

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